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The MA Journalism Project provides you with an opportunity to create an original and intellectually critical extended writing. You are expected to produce a dissertation of 12-15,000 words or an appropriate project in print/broadcast/online format or other acceptable platforms together with a shorter dissertation, on a topic relevant to your specialist interest and mutually agreed with course staff. The topic should be worthy of sustained in-depth inquiry. Both types of dissertation should take the form of a properly academically written and referenced piece of work following accepted conventions.

 

This description is intended to engage and excite an MA Journalist student into the final project of the year. We discussed this at great length with Fred and Andrew today and it opened and closed many avenues not previously thought of.

The idea that had been floating around my brain for a few weeks was looking at journalistic training over three very different countries with the aim to discover the best journalistic practice and who teaches their journalists best.

I began explaining my idea and shortly was interrupted by my lecturers explaining that this task would be tough and I would have to simplify the whole thing. Each country’s definition of journalism is different. Journalists perform different roles in different places around the world; some inform, others direct or manage, it can even protest and demonstrate. So ultimately good journalism would be determined on how well each country adheres to its law and purpose.

I would have to essentially look at what journalism actually is in each country, but I imagine this idea has been done to death.

I then thought of my secondary idea that came up during the preparation of my M40MC essay. Here is my written proposal:

How does a dramatic, culture-changing event affect media policy and the role of journalists?

My intention is to view three countries with differing cultural heritage and examine how the aftermath of each event causes change in national policy. I will also investigate the changes in journalistic practice.

To do this I intend to analyse a national newspaper with the highest rate of circulation from three countries; The United States of America, The Czech Republic and [arab league country after arab spring]. This analysis will include measuring the volume of news stories – both local and national, international content, cultural reporting and framing of political news stories.

I also intend to interview a reporter from each of the national newspapers who has worked both before and after the traumatic event. This will provide a level of first-hand qualitative research that will have not been featured in previous texts.

By combining both the qualitative and quantitative research, I will then be able to answer how an event with a global impact changes views and policy in the media. This will ultimately become the definition of ‘Post-Traumatic Journalism’.

 

I think this is ultimately what the Final Research Project will be so I have opened up a new Category under ‘My Course’ titled Final Project Journal.

When I research anything, or contact anyone regarding my Final Research Project I will update it in this. It may not be that often quite yet, but hopefully a little bit every once in a while over the next few months will mean I’m on top of things when next summer arrives.

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It’s true. Britain has no official constitution. Not one in the same way as the USA. My personal belief is that the whole constitution thing in the US is a bit bizarre anyway. Just because some old bearded men wrote down a few opinions on what people should be allowed to do over 400 years ago, doesn’t mean that it should still be allowed to happen now.

This is the potential problem with the Human Rights Act (1998) put in by the previous government, although a decent idea, it’ll be dated in 20 years. But before this was introduced the British countries were ruled by something called the unwritten constitution, which is upheld by the House or Lords. The unwritten constitution is loosely based on a medieval English Charter called Magna Carter. This combined with Habeas Corpus – the idea that a misdeed can be tried before a court, is ultimately how this country has been ruled since the dawn of civilised civilisation.

This is what we spoke about in Monday’s lecture with Marcos.

The House of Lords have powers to delay laws, as any law the Prime Minister is willing to pass has to be agreed by both Houses of Parliament. In the 80’s Thatcher tried to pass several laws through that may have been put through House of Commons but the House of Lords believed it wasn’t best for the country and this began the downfall of Thatcher from a political standpoint.

There are four different types of Lords that make up the House;

Hereditary Lords – Not around so much anymore. There was over a 1000 several year back who didn’t do anything but simply had privileges to enter and claim expenses on the country’s dime. There are under 100 now but most of them like to contribute to the House in some way.

Life Peers – Officially appointed by the Queen but a lot of recommendations will come from the Prime Minister, these can occasionally include knighted celebrities but of course the famous ones won’t contribute to the House, a lot of the time the Lord will be politically minded and is there to assist the government.

Anglican Clergy – They say Anglican because saying protestant upsets them. They are usually Bishops of the Church of England who say they represent all religious sects.

Law Lords – The place would be pretty pointless without people who know something about law. They will be high ranking lawyers, judges or counsel.

We discussed a few other points like the age of voting and the age to stand for election, when the polls open and close. We also discussed briefly the work we have to hand in – which is closing in now, and a reminder to look in McNae to prepare for the up and coming presentation.

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My first sit down seminar with Fred Mudhai was rather an interesting one. We mainly discussed the course and the breakdown of it.

It seems I will be doing two assignments; a project essay and a group presentation.

The presentation will be about a country’s media policy and systems, I will cover one and my partner (as yet to be discovered) will study another. Then we shall come together to compare the two countries and put forward a presentation.

I am interested in 3 countries currently, the first being the UK: I have come to realise that although I am coping well and learning as I’m going I still don’t know a hell of a lot about the media policies of Britain. I am slowly getting through McNae’s Essential Law for Journalists (2007) as recommended by Marcos Young and I’m sure I will have a better understanding of common law and practices by the end of the year anyway.

So part of me thinks the US would be very interesting as I could see myself working in the US and I am generally interested in their media policies as some of it seems to be so much more heavily influenced by the government (or at least some of the major corps do), so I would enjoy that one quite a bit.

Another one I would take great interest in is the Czech Republic. I would be keen to study the change in journalistic freedoms this former Soviet occupied state has seen since the collapse of the Berlin Wall and I doubt there are too many people considering covering Central Europe.

A lot of my decision will be based who I am partnered up with. I will consider some more then get back to you. In the meantime I have LOTS of reading to do for this module and I’ll be writing about Global Communication – Theories, Stakeholders and Trends McPhail (2006) shortly. So don’t go anywhere, we’ll be back after this short commercial break.

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